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Lennon by Tim Riley
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16 August 2013
A Beginning
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24 June 2014
Land of the Rising Sun
Shea Stadium
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Finished.  There are some things I want to post about the book but my personal time is kind of limited at the moment, so I'll have to come back to write those up.

I've got an account on GoodReads and went in to update my status and posted this brief review:


First off; good book. I enjoyed it.

Next, if you're thinking of picking this one up and hoping for another tale of Lennon Hero Worship... forget it. While Riley is definitely a fan and has admiration for Lennon, he does not grovel at Lennon's altar.

The book spends a considerable number of pages in Hamburg, which I was delighted to read. But it also provides some details on Lennon's life prior to The Beatles taking off, examining the differences between his real mother, Julia and his Aunt Mimi, who took him in when his real parents weren't responsible enough to raise a child.

It lets you know with certainty that Lennon's father returned to his life in later years, something a lot of other biographies gloss over. As for the nature of that relationship... read the book.

Riley's forte is the examination of music and he provides key information and facts on Lennon's work; both with The Beatles and as a solo artist (as well as his collaborations with Yoko Ono).

The latter half of the book deals with Lennon's trials and tribulations after his departure from The Beatles. This is an area I had little exposure to and it definitely provides an insight during his addiction phase, his 'Lost Weekend,' the intricacies and complexity of his marriage to Ono, and where he was, physically and spiritually, just prior to his death.

There are aspects to Ono I was unaware of before reading this book, and while I still harbor some resentment for her... interferences... I've come away with an understanding of some of her actions, as well as some new-found respect for her. Not sure if that was an intention of Riley, but... there it is. If you're still holding her to blame, there are moments of light here that every Beatle/Lennon fan should know.

I was surprised by quite a few revelations and I found this book very entertaining.


Couple of quick notes: 

1.  I came away with the distinct impression that Riley feels that, had Lennon lived, a reunion was inevitable.

2.  I finished this book on June 22nd.  Ironic that it's the same date Chapman changed his plea, back in 1981.  wooOOOooo.  a-hard-days-night-john-3

“Send John out first; he’s the one they want.” ~ someone said it, dammit. Memphis, 1966
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